Anatomy of a Bubble: a Poem

So often since the tragedy that we called an “election,”

I have heard of the bubble liberals live in

So I ask, what is the shape of a bubble, really, of the liberals?

I am from a town of roughly 2000 people where the major cash crop is tomatoes and the major religion is Southern Baptist

When I was a child, my mother worked, and so I went to a babysitter, the wife of a farmer

I saw cows up close, as well as the huge mounds of their shit

I saw baby chickens, called “biddies” in the local dialect

And one time, a cat had her babies in the chicken’s nest

On Sundays, at my grandfather’s house, my family sat around a table that had a Lazy Susan built into the top

And we shared Southern food with each other, my plate always having mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, roast, butter beans, and rice, topped with gravy

All next to a glass of sweet tea

An obsession with Japanese cartoons at age 12 led me to study and learn how to roughly read, write, and speak the Japanese language

In high school, I learned roughly to speak Spanish

While also learning how to read and sing in Russian

for a band from Russia portraying two lesbians were the sole representation for my gay teenaged self, and I learned what I could to sing with them

An exchange student from Korea gave me Kimchi-flavored seaweed snacks in 10th grade

And I learned how to write and read in Korean

In more recent years, I have studied French, and I can also read the Greek alphabet and the Hebrew alphabet, though slowly

And throw the beginning of Sanskrit in there somewhere.

In college, I happened into a coffee house run by a Turkish Muslim woman who told my fortunes using the grounds of Turkish coffee, and so I also learned some Turkish

Then I broke the fast of Ramadan with other Turkish Muslims who prayed over the feast and shared it with us on a joyful occassion.

And later, a bus full of nine British lesbian pagans broke down, and they performed the last shows at that Turkish woman’s coffee house, the perfect bang to close it all out

I have practiced Christianity in Reformed and Charismatic and Sacramental forms

My preference will always be for the Sacramental Christ

And even today, Christian Philosophers with their Neo-Platonism and Existentialism burn in my soul

I have practiced Hinduism and Hindu-flavored Sufism

Lord Shiva ever dances in my heart

I have practiced Buddhism and Wicca, at the same time

These two are not at odds, though I always believed they were

I have practiced the ideas perpetuated by a small atheist cult in Australia

And discarded what isn’t useful in their method

I have devoted myself to Vodou spirits and saints and angels

And more recently, to Greek and Norse deities and spirits

As well as 7 Principles of a certain Unitarian Universalism

My jobs include tutoring in high school, later working a gift shop, and then helping keep afloat the family business of hardware that had been around for three generations

in a large store that had no air conditioning in the Southern portion of Alabama, a store that had one small gas heater near the front

For five years, I was a pescetarian, never consuming animals outside of seafood

And in those five years, I learned how to make Matar Paneer

When I finally started eating meat again, I made Korean spicy chicken and Bulgogi, a spicy beef dish

I have walked the streets of New York City at night after seeing a Broadway show

And I have been on Bourbon Street in New Orleans at night when the street was packed full of people

I have walked the hallowed spaces in Washington, D.C., and I flew with my now-husband to Annapolis, Maryland, walking on cobblestone streets in freezing temperatures to get married

I have a stepson who, at age 6, when asked to select, “What is a goal?” from a series of pictures, chose “teach a duck to whistle” over “learn to play an instrument,” and his reasoning?

“Anyone can learn to play an instrument; teaching a duck to whistle is a real ambition”

On my Facebook of 145 people, I have at least two friends who live in Seattle,

at least two who live in New York City,

one who lives in Los Angeles,

three who live in Japan, one who lives in Germany,

and one who lives in Brazil,

and yet another living in a small town in Connecticut

I have at least one friend on my Facebook who is from the United Kingdom

I have friends who were once dancers who now write poetry

I have friends who do reiki and can put to shame any lounge-singer

I have friends who play drums and flutes and tell stories

I have friends who write blogs and spread joy in the world

I have friends who draw and paint better than I ever will

I have friends with whom I have stayed late into the night and over coffee, pizza, or marijuana (I did not partake of the latter), discussed all aspects of life

And after all was said and done, as I drove myself home

I turned on the radio and listened to George Noory and Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM

As conspiracy theories, alien invasions, crystal skulls, quantum physics, witchcraft, and the true location of the Ark of the Covenant were all discussed with guests on the show

often after I had gone to college in the morning, gone to work after class, went back to the next class, and then spent the later hours of the night with my friends

If this is what a bubble looks like,

a bubble that extends over the globe,

a bubble that extends through time and space

a bubble that afforded me friends and experiences the likes of which I never dreamt as a child

I will gladly stay in my bubble

 

 

 

 

 

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